Big events to bring 600,000 people to Atlanta this weekend

ATLANTA — Hundreds of thousands of people will pour into Atlanta this weekend for what some call a “perfect storm” of big events.

One of the largest is the 29th annual Dragon Con convention downtown.

Organizers say the big crowds have a big impact on the local economy, and each year, it keeps growing.

“Every year when we open up reservations, we will sell out the hotel in about 15 minutes. There’s that much demand,” said Hyatt Regency General Manager Peter McMahon.

This year Dragon Con is expected to bring in 60,000 heroes and villains over the holiday weekend. Channel 2's Berndt Petersen joined in the fun during his live shot on Channel 2 Action News at 4 p.m.

"This event brings the hero out in all of us," he said as he showed off his Superman t-shirt.

"This is not just nerd culture, this is Atlanta culture,” said Dragon Con director Dan Carroll. “The Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that we have an impact of $65 million every Labor Day on the Atlanta economy."

It’s just one of several big events this weekend, including the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome.

Gay Black Pride weekend is also taking place in the city and expected to bring an additional 10,000 people. Organizers wanted to schedule their event at the same time the city is hosting the others.

“We simply say this is a day of unity. Everybody is welcome. Why not have it on one of the biggest tourist weekends of the year?” said organizer Vaughn Alvares.

All in all, more than 600,000 people are expected in downtown Atlanta this weekend ,and Atlanta police are on hand to make sure everything goes smoothly.

“How they’re going about it is different. They’re very engaging. They talk to you as you’re walking by. It’s almost like they try to make sure their presence is known without being intrusive. So, I think they’re doing a pretty good job,” said visitor Les Hermitt.

Organizers say if you plan to attend any of the events, it’s wise to get up and get there early.

"Parking is really going to be tight, so be patient,” McMahon said.